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Archaeological Zone of Monte Albán closed due to conflict

Oaxaca, Mexico — An unresolved conflict between the INAH and vendors has resulted in the closure of the Archaeological Zone of Monte Albán. The site, which is in the state of Oaxaca, is temporarily closed to the public.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Mexico, through the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), reported the closure.

“This measure has been taken by the authorities of the INAH Oaxaca Center and the archaeological site with the purpose of protecting tourists as well as the area of monuments itself, which has been declared World Heritage by the Organization of the United Nations for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO),” they said in a statement.

On September 30, 2023, one of the three groups of merchants that offer their crafts and products within Monte Albán unilaterally occupied various spaces on the site, demanding to be able to triple the number of their vendors.

“The work team of archaeologist David Andrade Olvera, the Deputy Director of the archaeological zone, began talks with the dissatisfied vendors to whom it was explained that the conditions do not exist in Monte Albán to even increase the number of sellers registered in the present,” the INAH explained.

Given the refusal of the merchants and their withdrawal from the negotiation tables, it was decided to protect the entrance to Monte Albán as long as the necessary security conditions do not exist for INAH workers, visitors and the archaeological heritage.